BIRMINGHAM, MICH. — Rep. William Broomfield, R-Mich., announced April 21 he is calling it quits after 36 years on Capitol Hill.
Representative Broomfield's decision brings to a close one of the most successful political careers in Michigan history. He never lost an election in 42 years of running for public office, beginning with election to the Michigan House in 1948.
"This has been my most difficult political decision," he said.
Broomfield was first elected to his suburban Detroit congressional district in 1956, when Dwight Eisenhower was president. Only Democrat John Dingell, who was elected in 1955, has served longer in the Michigan delegation.
"I've been thinking about it for some time," Broomfield said. "I've gotten to the point that I've gotten very disgusted that nothing is getting done [in Washington], so I decided to call it quits. I think 36 years is a long time."
Broomfield said he was confident he would win another term even though he would face a younger opponent in the Republican primary in August.
"I think the people deserve a change," he said.
Although he could pocket up to $655,652 of his campaign war chest, he said he has decided to use the money to set up a nonprofit foundation to finance educational and charitable programs in the Detroit metropolitan area.
In terms of congressional seniority, Broomfield is tied with Republican leader Robert Michel of Illinois.
He drafted the legislation that gave President Bush the authority to launch a military strike against Iran in January 1991, and was a member of the House Iran-contra committee that investigated President Reagan's most serious scandal involving the illegal transfer of money to the Nicaraguan contras.